Lead Management is like looking for your favorite red skittle in a huge jar full of blue. You spent hours on taking all the blue ones out of the jar, one by one, you may feel exhausted after a couple of hours, but at the same time you want to taste that red skittle so much and you keep going and going. After all this effort you finally manage to find the red skittle at the bottom of the jar, but then your apetite is gone and you have no idea what to do with this red skittle.
Lead generation for businesses is everything. It’s how you grow, you scale up, you become a leader in your industry.
But, lead generation wouldn’t matter if you don’t have a lead management process in place that lets you reach out to your right leads at the right time, the right place, with the right wording and efficiently walk them through your funnel.
Who wouldn’t want to find that red skittle at the top of the jar or even better who wouldn’t want a jar full of reds?
What is Lead Management?
Lead management is the process of capturing and organizing potential customer information, or leads, and tracking their interactions with a business through the sales funnel. The goal of lead management is to identify and qualify leads, nurture them through targeted marketing efforts, and ultimately convert them into paying customers. Effective lead management involves implementing a consistent procedure for lead capture, segmentation, scoring, and automated follow-up to ensure that each lead is properly tracked and contacted at the right time and in the most effective way.Having an effective lead management system in place is crucial to generating sales and growing a customer base.
Effective lead management requires a well-defined process, clear communication between sales and marketing teams, and the use of technology to automate key tasks. Automation can help businesses save time and improve their sales efficiency. One way to do this is through the use of lead management software, which can automate lead capture, scoring, and nurturing. Automated lead scoring, for example, can help businesses prioritize leads based on their level of engagement and likelihood to convert. Automated lead nurturing, meanwhile, can help businesses stay top-of-mind with leads by delivering targeted content and offers based on their interests and behavior.
Moving New Leads Through the Sales Funnel
Once new leads have been captured, the goal is to move them through the sales funnel towards conversion. This involves a combination of targeted marketing efforts and personalized communication. One effective strategy is to create a lead nurturing campaign that delivers a series of targeted messages over a set period of time. These messages should be tailored to the lead’s specific interests and needs, and should aim to build trust and establish a relationship with the lead.
It is important to understand the needs and interests of each lead to create tailored messages that resonate with them and encourage them to take action. By moving leads through a sales funnel, businesses can maximize their sales potential and increase customer retention.
The 5 stages of lead management
Lead generation is your starting point. It’s where you start feeding your funnel with leads by gathering their info like name, email address and phone number.
Lead generation process includes all the steps and tactics for creating multiple entry points for potential customers to engage with your brand in order to convince them to give their contact info.
The most common way to collect leads is through your company website. This can be done through various methods such as newsletters, sign-up pages, product demo , and gated content that offers your target audience valuable information. Other lead generation channels include social media, email marketing, and other specialized tools that are relevant to your industry.
According to Salesforce, the most effective lead generation strategies include events, the company website, SEO, and email marketing.
Lead qualification is the process of assessing the potential of a lead or prospect to become a customer. It involves determining if a lead fits the criteria for an ideal customer based on factors such as demographics, behavior, interests, and buying intent. The goal of lead qualification is to prioritize leads and focus sales efforts on those that are most likely to convert into paying customers, thereby increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the sales process.
In short, lead qualification is the process of predicting how possible is for a lead to become a customer.
One of the most usual frameworks to start your lead qualification process is BANT (budget, authority, need, and timing), it’s perfect for small businesses with low quality or poor lead data.
The process of engaging with leads through targeted and personalized content to build a relationship and guide them towards making a purchase. This stage often includes automated email campaigns, retargeting ads, and social media outreach.
It requires building relationships with leads or prospects by providing them with relevant and valuable information to move them through the sales funnel. The goal of lead nurturing is to keep potential customers engaged and interested in your business until they are ready to make a purchase. Lead nurturing can take many forms, including personalized emails, educational content, social media engagement, and events or webinars.
By providing helpful information and addressing the needs and pain points of your leads, you can establish your business as a trusted advisor and build a stronger relationship with potential customers. Effective lead nurturing can increase conversion rates and improve customer retention by creating a positive experience and demonstrating the value of your product or service.
Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank and prioritize leads based on their level of engagement and potential to become a customer. It involves assigning points or scores to leads based on their demographic data, behavior, and interests. For example, a lead who downloads a whitepaper or attends a webinar may receive more points than a lead who simply visits a website.
The purpose of lead scoring is to identify which leads are the most qualified and likely to convert, allowing sales teams to focus their efforts on those with the highest potential ROI. Lead scoring can be done manually or using automation tools that track and score leads in real-time based on their online behavior and interactions with your business. A well-designed lead scoring system can increase sales efficiency, improve lead quality, and ultimately lead to increased revenue for your business.
Track Results, Review and Test your process
Testing is your ally. It’s impossible to know what works at your first try. Lead management requires a learning phase to know what makes your leads eventually convert.
- Identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies: Reviewing your lead management process can help you identify bottlenecks or areas of inefficiency that may be hindering your conversion rates. By identifying these areas, you can take steps to streamline your process and make it more effective.
- Improve lead quality: Testing your lead management process can help you determine which leads are most likely to convert into paying customers. By focusing on high-quality leads, you can improve your conversion rates and generate more revenue.
- Optimize lead nurturing: Lead nurturing is a critical part of the lead management process. By reviewing and testing your lead nurturing campaigns, you can ensure that you are providing your leads with the right information at the right time, increasing the likelihood of a successful conversion.
- Ensure compliance: Depending on your industry, there may be regulations that you need to comply with when it comes to lead management. By reviewing and testing your process, you can ensure that you are meeting all regulatory requirements and avoiding any potential legal issues.
- Continuous improvement: The lead management process is not static, and it requires constant review and refinement to ensure that it is meeting the needs of your business. By regularly reviewing and testing your process, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes that will help you stay ahead of the competition.
Best practices for lead management
I personally don’t like the “Best practices for [enter whatever you want here]”, I can ensure you that there are no easy hacks out there for anything. Everything takes time, testing and long brainstorming sessions to see what fits and what represents your business’ culture and voice. But, here are the first 5 things I personally do. They may sound simple and easy, but it’s one of those things that it’s easier to explain and said, than it is to follow through with consistency.
- Define your ideal customer profile: Start by identifying your target audience and creating a detailed customer persona. This will help you to better understand the needs, pain points, and preferences of your potential customers, and tailor your lead management process accordingly.
- Implement lead scoring: Lead scoring is a process of assigning a score to each lead based on their engagement with your brand, level of interest, and fit with your ideal customer profile. This helps you prioritize leads and focus your efforts on those that are most likely to convert.
- Nurture leads with relevant content: Create a content strategy that provides value to your leads and educates them about your brand and products. This can include blog posts, ebooks, webinars, and other resources that address their pain points and interests.
- Use automation to streamline the process: Automate repetitive tasks such as lead capture, lead nurturing, and follow-up emails to save time and improve efficiency. This allows your team to focus on more strategic tasks, such as engaging with high-priority leads and closing deals.
- Continuously monitor and optimize your process: Regularly track your lead management metrics and adjust your process accordingly. This includes monitoring your conversion rates, pipeline velocity, and other key performance indicators to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
Top Lead Management Tools
Before you start googling “Top lead management tools”, start by having these in mind:
- Features: Evaluate the features and capabilities of each tool to ensure that they meet your specific lead management needs.
- Integrations: Consider the existing tools and systems your business uses and ensure that the lead management tool you choose integrates seamlessly with them.
- Ease of use: Look for a tool that is user-friendly and easy to navigate to ensure that your team can efficiently manage leads.
- Pricing: Compare the pricing and subscription models of different tools to find one that aligns with your budget.
- Support: Look for a tool that provides reliable customer support and resources to ensure that you can effectively use the tool and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
There are a variety of lead management tools available to help businesses streamline their lead management process. Some of the top tools that I’ve used and helped me though the lead management battle are:
An all-in-one inbound marketing and sales platform that includes lead generation, lead management, and marketing automation features. HubSpot offers tools for lead capture, lead segmentation, lead nurturing, and lead scoring.
A marketing automation platform that offers lead management features such as lead capture, lead scoring, lead nurturing, and lead segmentation. Marketo integrates with CRM systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
A marketing automation platform designed for B2B companies that provides lead management features such as lead scoring, lead nurturing, and lead tracking. Pardot integrates with Salesforce and offers a range of analytics and reporting features.
In addition to the top lead management tools mentioned earlier, there are several other tools available that businesses can use to streamline their lead management process. These include Zapier, Act-On, and Keap, among others.
How Nimbata can help your lead management process
Nimbata specializes on phone leads, a call tracking software that will help you define which lead sources and therefore campaigns, keywords, listings make your phone ring. Nimbata can help your lead management in 3 ways:
- Generate Leads: Most of the lead capturing processes focus on collecting lead information through form submissions which is fine, but leaving out your phone leads means that you are missing high-scored leads. Why? Because, leads call your business when they are ready to buy meaning that they’ve come beyond the informational and commercial phase. CRM integrations allow you to create contacts when a phone call is placed from a first time caller that is not in your database or update an existing one enriching your lead data.
- Enrich Lead Data for accurate lead scoring: To efficiently nurture your leads you have to know every touchpoint so that you can score your leads accurately. Nimbata enriches your CRM with additional lead data pushing call activity back to your CRM, eventually helping you create more data-backed criteria for scoring, based on lead’s online and offline behavior.
- Follow-up with missed leads: Imagine the most common worst case scenario: Loosing ready-to-buy leads because you missed their call. Using slack or email notifications, you can take action on missed calls asap, eliminating the chances of losing a potential customer.
Effective lead management can be a game-changer for businesses looking to generate sales and grow their customer base. By automating key tasks and using targeted marketing efforts to move new leads through the sales funnel, businesses can maximize their sales potential. With the help of top lead management tools like HubSpot, Nimbata, and Pardot, businesses can streamline their lead management process and focus on what matters most: building lasting relationships with their customers.